I have been been told by several teachers and professors throughout my scholastic career that I have habits, mannerisms, and idiosyncrasies of someone with dyslexia. I have never been officially diagnosed or anything but have had this type of thing said to me over the years by different instructors who otherwise have nothing in common. It has happened enough that I really do start to wonder if I did have some form of dyslexia growing up.
I think it would have been a mild case but I can see how it may have been part of my troubles learning when young. I had all kinds of learning difficulties. I was in pretty much every special education class (aka Retard Classes according to my brother) they had until the second time through third grade. Yes, I flunked third grade...it is a great story about a master plan that I will get to in the future. Reading, Writing, Math, Vocabulary, Speech Therapy, and every once in a while Physical Therapy...I'm sure there were probably others, I think there was even a class on social skills (that one still hasn't taken).
Eventually my mind just clicked and all of a sudden I was able to read, write, do math, semi-normally. I still read very slowly...but yet I love to read and read a lot. The only thing that really makes up for my slow reading is that I have pretty awesome retention and comprehension. I never had to re-read anything for school and that made studying so much easier...or actually non-existent.
I explored dyslexia and my situation a little more and even talked to one of the professors who could have diagnosed me...took some preliminary tests and was again told that I had inclinations that suggest I was mildly dyslexic. I didn't opt for more tests (because that is when they would have started costing money) and as the professor said - I seemed to have figured out a work around for my own brain and seemed to be doing well. An official diagnosis really wouldn't change anything as any treatment they might try could actually cause more harm than good in my case.
Most days, you would never notice...I don't even notice. But there are some days (especially if I am feeling very tired mentally) when my mind does weird things. Some examples -
- I will say left when I mean right (and vice verse). I know my right from left but for my mind will say the opposite just to screw with me...it's like the label in my mind for each direction gets switched around.
- I can't type well. My left hand will try typing my right hand letters (and vice verse)...they don't move over to the right hand keys, they just type the equivalent on their side of the keyboard. So if I wanted to type DASH, it would come out as K;LG. Which can be very frustrating since I am often not looking at my screen when typing.
- Letters and numbers replace each other...kind of like l33t but not on purpose.
- Typing sometimes comes out backwards.
- If writing with pen and paper, I will skip letters and switch letters around...not just once in a while like an accident, all the time.
- When speaking my R's start sounding funny...sometimes it will sound like I have a Southie Boston accent, sometimes they sound like L's (very Engrish!).
- It becomes harder to talk and words get mixed around in my sentences.
- Simple words don't make any sense.
- Phrases do not read correctly. Real example from today, I received an email with the subject of "Gain Executive Skills" but my mind read not once but twice "Gain Elvis Presley" Sweet, sign me up! Finally the third time I read it, my mistake was evident. My mind picks up on certain letters and will make its own sentences.
Gain Elvis Presley!